The NFL's catch rule: Good or bad?

Shutdown Corner

Welcome to the War Room, where Yahoo Sports’ football minds kick around the key NFL topics of the day. Today, we’re talking catches and Star Wars, of course.

Question 1. Very simple: your thoughts on the current catch rule. Good? Bad? What would you change?

Blake Schuster
I hate the catch rule. Nothing so simple should also be so ambiguous. Here’s the simple answer: if it looks amazing, it should count. Optics rule the day. Why mess with that? For what it’s worth, I think the same thing should apply in basketball but this is probably why I’m not the Sports Czar.

Anthony Sulla-Heffinger
I actually like the catch rule. Look, every year it’s going to be debated because inevitably a game will be decided by it, but won’t the exact same thing happen if we change it? At what point does the play end? Should these “catches” be called fumbles? I’m with Bill Belichick and Eli Manning on this one: The rule is clear. We’d be opening up the NFL rules equivalent of Pandora’s box if we changed it. Plus, we’re forgetting the greatest thing this rule has ever given us: The Dez Bryant “You caught it, fam” meme.

Frank Schwab
It’s not the answer everyone wants to hear, but how do you change it so you avoid all controversy? Keep in mind that “if it looks like a catch, it’s a catch” basically forces the officials into a ton of judgment calls, and you’re going to complain about that too. You might not like the “survive the ground” explanation, but do you just let passes get jarred loose by the ground and they’re still catches anyway? That’s the simple question for all those who think the catch rule stinks: How do you fix it then? I don’t have that answer.

Jay Busbee
The thing is, we’re kind of screwed at this point. Hi-def replay allows us to see the microbes on the ball dance as it rotates in a player’s grasp, so with enough cross-examination, nothing short of a ball locked in a safe is a catch. The only way to get around that is to eliminate replay entirely and make every call a judgment call. And that way lies madness. My recommendation: the NFL produce a big-budget, CGI-heavy extravaganza showing exactly what is and isn’t a catch. Fans ought to know going into a play what qualifies as a catch, not get surprised when the ref steps into the limelight to uphold or overturn the ruling on the field.

Question 2. If you were going to cast Star Wars with NFL figures, who goes where? (No Belichick-as-emperor. Too easy.)

Luke Skywalker: Carson Wentz
Obi-Wan: Peyton Manning
Darth Vader: Tom Brady
Kylo Ren: Cam Newton
Chewbacca: Gronk
R2D2: LeSean McCoy
C-3PO: Adrian Peterson
Han Solo: Travis Kelce
Emperor: Jerry Jones
Lando Calrissian: Aaron Rodgers
-Schuster

Since Blake so perfectly cast most of the Star Wars cast, I’ll take a bit of a different route. Blake Bortles as the iconic Jar Jar Binks. Think about how excited Jaguars fans must be to finally be back in the playoffs, it’s almost like Star Wars fans were when “The Phantom Menace” came out in 1999. With Leonard Fournette as young Obi Wan, Jacksonville’s defense as the Jedi Council, Doug Marrone as Qui-Gon Jinn and Tom Coughlin as Yoda, what could go wrong? I have three words for you: “Meesa throw interception.” -Sulla

I’m not as immersed in the Star Wars franchise to have a decent list (I know, I know), but it does seem like J.J. Watt would find a way to be prominently involved somehow. And I do like the Gronk as Chewbacca selection. -Schwab

Blake stole everyone’s thunder, so I’m going a different route: matching the teams to their respective Star Wars movies. Enjoy.

A New Hope: Green Bay Packers—Old-school classic
Empire Strikes Back: New England Patriots—The best of them all, and the bad guys win
Return of the Jedi: Atlanta Falcons—Great movie that falls apart at the very end
The Phantom Menace: Cleveland Browns—The worst by any measure
Attack of the Clones: New York Giants—Decent moments but horrid overall
Revenge of the Sith: Dallas Cowboys—A decent idea undone by its own hubris
The Force Awakens: New Orleans Saints—Recalling the past with hope for the future
Rogue One: Pittsburgh Steelers—Nothing is ever easy
The Last Jedi: Minnesota Vikings—A collection of slapdash parts that somehow works
-Busbee

That’ll do it for this week. Got a question for our crew to kick around? Email us and we’ll answer it right here. Enjoy Week 16!

Emperor Belichick. (Getty)
Emperor Belichick. (Getty)

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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